We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

What currency to take

Grimsby , UK
Level Contributor
8 posts
14 reviews
Save Topic
What currency to take

Hi We are going to Iceland this weekend. Given the current financial problems over there, what currency should we take ? Sterling ? euro's ? ISK ? Dollars.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Dave & Jan

Toronto, Canada
Level Contributor
990 posts
31 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: What currency to take

Use your credit card and take out some ISK from an ATM in Iceland. That's the most agreed upon way of having money/cash in Iceland.

Grimsby , UK
Level Contributor
8 posts
14 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: What currency to take

Thanks for responding so quickly. Sounds good advice and importantly....not complicated. Cheers

Seattle
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
1,110 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: What currency to take

As a frequent traveler to Iceland, I feel a need to comment on posts concerning Icelandic currency.

First, let me say that Iceland does have financial problems, but in no way do these problems affect tourists. If anything, it is a benefit for the tourist, as your home currency converts into more ISK now.

Second, there is absolutely no need to have ISK in hand before you arrive in Iceland. The bank at the airport will exchange your home currency into ISK at the going rate for no fee; there are ATM's in the airport and throughout Iceland. Pop your card in and get cash (ISK). Very simple.

Third, credit cards are accepted for most everything in Iceland, and you can use them, but watch for fees than can increase your cost.

Above all, if I was Icelandic, I would find it rather insulting to be asked what kind of currency to bring, as if Iceland was some backwater, 3rd world country. Would you ask the same question if you were going to, say, Norway?

I love Iceland, and I think it is a fantastic place. Icelanders, once you get to know them, are the best people on earth; honest and reliable. Just good folks.

Because of the financial crisis, Iceland is now a very good bargain. This is because your home currency will convert to much more Icelandic currency than ever before

There is absolutely no need to worry or wonder about what currency to take. Sterling, Euros, Dollars are all fine; credit cards work perfectly too.

Dave and Jan, I certaintly don't mean to pick on your post, but I have seen the same question posted so many times, that I feel I must respond.

Iceland is a great place, but you should have no currency worries whatsoever. Just go, and have a great time. Use your credit card, or change your home currency into Krona, it all works.

Iceland is not some backward nation where you have to worry about currency. Again, think of Iceland like Norway. If you were going to Norway, would you ask about which currency to take?

Just go and have fun. Iceland is a great country!

Don

Wakefield, MA
Level Contributor
1 post
3 reviews
Save Reply
4. Re: What currency to take

I'm sure no no insult was intended. I had the same question because as of the beginning of August 2009 Lloyd's in the UK no longer carries kroner. Don't know if they ever did... but I went in with some cash to trade in to avoid the credit card fees - and found this out. While not a third world country by any means, recent changes make you want to double check the best course of action in order to get your money's worth.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
89 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: What currency to take

I'm from somewhere where my home currency isn't as widely accepted as USD, GBP or EUR. I live in Hong Kong. I've checked with most banks that I can't get ISK locally, even before the current financial situation. If I'm going to use my credit cards, they'll charge me for certain transaction fee twice as the bill will first be settled by ISK, being converted to USD, then to my home currency. That also applies if I draw cash out of an ATM.

Do anyone know if the banks at the airport accept Hong Kong Dollar? (I know it's a long shot...) Or can anyone give me, or some other Asian travelers, some advice on what to do?

My current plan's to bring USD or GBP as I gotta transit in London on my way to Reykjavik.

Reykjavik, Iceland
Level Contributor
2,746 posts
65 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: What currency to take

The airport banks are opertaed by Landsbanki. Their web site lists HKD so I think it's safe to assume that they do accept them.

www.landsbanki.is/markadir/gengigjaldmidla/

Connecticut
Level Contributor
76 posts
3 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: What currency to take

The only thing I needed ISK for was to get on the bus in Reykjavick. Otherwise, I never would have seen the currency. There's no limit to how little you can charge.

Hong Kong
Level Contributor
89 posts
47 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: What currency to take

Thanks FrozenBaz. I've called the bank. Not sure if it's just the operator or my broken spoken English or it's really the case, I'm told I can't use my HKD to change for some ISK.

HKD's linked with USD so basically most locals can withdraw USD without any exchange rate risk. Easiest for me to bring USD along. But I'm transiting in London and staying there for a few days so I may also need some GBP in UK anyway. Guess I just have to live with the volatile USD/GBP exchange rate.

I know I can always use my credit card. Guess I simply can't avoid being charged the whatsoever transaction fee twice from first converting to USD, then to ISK.

Hong Kong
2 posts
Save Reply
9. Re: What currency to take

Hi Don

Great to have icelandic expert like you here. I come from Hong Kong but I found all the big banks in my homeland simply does NOT offer foreign exchange into ISK in cash nor electronically. I do have read your reply and aware credit card is well accepted iceland-wide. But as a tourists going there 2 months later, I just want a user-friendly way to hedge the risk of ISK appreciation because it is anyway quite over-sold. Can you or any financial experts answer me this questions? Many thanks.

Seattle
Destination Expert
for Iceland
Level Contributor
1,110 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: What currency to take

Thanks FirebirdHK but your question regarding hedging currency apperciation is way beyond the level of my competence to answer. Perhaps someone else may want to give it a try.

The ISK vs USD has been fairly stable for some time know, but I have no idea what the future holds.

My main concern has always been relatively short duration tourist-type trips, and the best way to use your home currency. The best bang for the buck, so to speak. A lot depends on your individual bank and/or credit card company, and the fees you encounter.

I have always thought that if the bank website for Iceland lists an exchange rate, they will exchange it. So, just as FrozenBaz has posted, I would think the HKD would be fully exchangable in Iceland. Of course, not exchangeable in Hong Kong for ISK, or anywhere else.

The ISK is good only in Iceland, and should only be obtained in Iceland, for the main purposes of this forum. I don't deal with foreign currency trading.

Get your ISK when in Iceland or use a Visa/MC card. Make sure to exchange any remaining ISK before you leave.

The are no problems for tourists planning a trip to Iceland, just more efficient use of your home currency when in Iceland.

Visit Iceland and have a great time. You can reduce your overall cost a bit, by reading past posts, but again such savings reflect reduced fee costs. The biggest factor in a visit is the exchange rate of your home currency into ISK, and that is always subject to change.

Having said that; go and visit Iceland and have a fantastic time. It is such an incredibly beautiful place.

Don